So, Petunia is now a Clark. She was not as impressed by this as we all were. She was like, “What? I thought I was a Clark already. What’s up with the court thing?”
We went to court and it was standing room only in the hall outside the courtrooms. Lawyers meeitng with clients in doorways. Impatient children running around in the halls. Parents shushing and trying unsuccessfully to entertain their broods. Typical scene for the Family Court building.
Except this day, everybody was cheerful. It was almost all adoptions, being National Adoption Day and all. We were one of the last families to go before the Judge, so we got to see all the other families go in. There was one with an adorable autistic boy. There was one family with three little hispanic girls all dressed in identical frocks which matched their mother who’d obviously sewed them herself. There was the one with two little African American boys dressed in identical bright purple suits, who looked so happy it made your own smile muscles hurt. And then the family who went right before us made me cry a little bit — nine children, two little African American girls to be adopted that day, two with mental handicaps and one with a prosthetic leg, two had bald or partially bald heads which suggested maybe some medical condition like cancer. Damn. Sometimes I consider the greatness of love that people can show and it gets me all choked up. It was a very feel good day.
Later that night we talked about what to do next. You see there’s this voice that tells me that three kids is enough. It was the same voice that told me that two was enough, except now it is stronger. I’m going to ignore that voice. That voice that says, “Enjoy the three you have.” I’m going to ignore that voice, that voice that says, “You’ll be paying for college educations until after your retirement. You’ll never own a really cool car, no dream vacations, no summer homes.” I’m going to ignore that voice.
Because all of the best stuff in my life has come from ignoring that voice. I can’t live my life listening to that voice. That voice is not from God. Somewhere out there there’s a kid who needs a forever home and will be glad we ignored that voice.
Our compromise is that we will not extend our child rearing years by taking on another baby. Petunia will be our youngest. We are looking for an African American child — because Heidi is firm in her conviction that Mr. Freshpants “should not be the only black person in the family” — to be our second oldest child. So we are being a bit more picky with our third foster/adopt. But then older children are hardest to place, so hopefully we’re still filling a need.
In a way, we’re leaving it up to God. We’ll let our agency know what we’re open to and then wait faithfully. God will send us one if it is her will. All we have to do is say “yes”. And ignore that voice.